Criticism is ‘unfair’ says councillor

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I was more than a little disappointed to read in recent editions of the Hawick News that I am being blamed for the state of the Mote.

Also, regarding last week’s letter highlighting my criticism of SBHA, I think I have a good working relationship with SBHA and its officers, but after two years of meetings with SBHA and [contractor] Land Engineering and being told that they were going to look at several options for the former rose bushes in the west end, and my hard-pressed constituents telling me that they were having to pay a gardener to keep SBHA’s weeds down, I felt enough was enough.

On the issue of the Mote, people may not be aware that the cutting, because of health and safety [implications], is now done by a private contractor who has all the relevant equipment required to do this work, which costs £400 a time. This is paid for out of the small schemes budget which is overseen by the three Hawick and Hermitage councillors – myself, George Turnbull and Ron Smith, so I think it’s a bit unfair for me personally to receive all this criticism.

We could vote for the Mote to be cut six times a year but this money would have to be found from somewhere and will mean that something else will have to suffer.

That said, I have asked the [environmental services] department to see if they can possibly come up with the money that is needed for an extra cut because of the strength of feelings on this.

Councillor Davie Paterson

Hawick and Hermitage